Ok. This is going to be a garbled post. But I ran across a few interesting things today that I want to comment on.

First, I was going through code today at work, and I found a method called executeRequest_DELETE_THIS_METHOD(). This is what happens when @deprecated flags cause build errors. I can’t begin to tell how many times I’ve seen comments like: “We should probably delete this” or “Don’t call this method!!!”.

Second, I came home today to hear a conversation between Miles and Kimayne’s boyfriend about how they were beaten when they were kids and they turned out so good that everyone should beat there kids (or that was the jest). They claimed it was the best way to instill a sense of right and wrong. I didn’t argue; I thought they might hurt me.

Third, I came across a really good article on the BBC about Health care in Sweden compared to the UK. It’s a good read and should be required for anyone thinking of voting in the next election (which should should be forced in the next few hours). Health care will probably one of the main themes. Just to highlight a few of the points of the article: “Whenever health systems are ranked, Sweden always seems to come top or at the very least a close runner-up.” “In the early 1980s, the country was splashing out 9.2% of its GDP on health care – the highest in Europe and over 3% more than the NHS got at the time.” Canada spends 9.6% today (1) and the USA spends 15.3% (and it has 45 million uninsured citizens)(2), so just spending more money isn’t a magic bullet.

Per GDP Health Care Spending in CanadaSo why is Sweden so successful? There health care system has always been well funded. They aren’t dealing with the same cuts Canadians had in the mid 90’s when Paul Martin cut funding. Although even at the low points, per GDP spending in Canada stayed above 8%. What else? They allow some private health care. But it’s limited. Sweden is a really socialist country and they ensure everyone has access to health care, with privately provided care running about 10%. “Unlike in the UK where a two-tier system has developed with wealthy patients paying to go private, there is virtually no market for such care in Sweden.” I have nothing against Canada allowing some services to delivered privately, but there should be limits like there is in Sweden, otherwise we’ll have a system like the US or the UK.

Sweden has invested in training doctors and moved toward regional and home care. These are concrete ideas that Canada could do and were recommended by the Romanow Report, but the Liberals have decided to ignore. Sweden controls private delivery with various means including limiting doctors from working in the public and private system (double dipping) – something Jack Layton tried to push the Liberals to stop (3). I guess it’s easier to to do nothing. Although they have sure been busy in the past week. Yikes! Someone should have lit a fire under the butts a long time ago. I’m just glad I’ll be home in time to vote in January.

And since I’ve moved into politics, I just want to say I hope Michael Ignatieff gets his butt kicked in the next election. I don’t care by who. I just hope he loses…badly. The guy hasn’t lived in Canada for decades, supported the war in Iraq, has been parachuted into a riding, and “disdains” Ukrainians. Not exactly my model politician, but the Liberals think he’s their star candidate.

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